Visiting Jamaica? 7 Ways Visitors Can Help Fight Against Resorts Restricting Local Beach Access - Jillian Hishaw Esq.

Visiting Jamaica? 7 Ways Visitors Can Help Fight Against Resorts Restricting Local Beach Access

 7 Ways to Support Local Beach Access in Jamaica: A Guide for Visitors

Discover seven ways visitors can support local beach access in Jamaica and contribute to the preservation of these beautiful natural resources.

7 Ways & Reasons Visitors Should Support Local Beach Access in Jamaica.

Introduction to Jamaica’s beaches and the issue of restricted access

1. The importance of preserving local beach access

Preserving local beach access is not only a matter of fairness and justice, but it also plays a pivotal role in protecting the rights and livelihoods of the Jamaican people. The beaches of Jamaica are not just scenic spots for tourists to enjoy; they are an integral part of the local communities’ identity, heritage, and way of life. For generations, Jamaicans have relied on the ocean for sustenance, recreation, and cultural practices. By denying them access to their own beaches, we are stripping away their connection to the land and robbing them of their cultural heritage.

2. Economic impact of beach tourism in Jamaica

Jamaica’s economy heavily relies on tourism, and the country’s beautiful beaches are one of its biggest attractions. However, the concentration of resorts and restricted access to public beaches has created an imbalance in the distribution of wealth. The majority of the economic benefits generated by beach tourism are funneled into the hands of a few, while the local communities that bear the brunt of the environmental and social impacts are left marginalized. By preserving local beach access, we can create a more equitable tourism industry that benefits all Jamaicans and helps to alleviate poverty in the coastal regions.

3. Environmental benefits of maintaining accessible beaches

Maintaining accessible beaches in Jamaica is not only crucial for the well-being of the local communities but also for the preservation of the island’s fragile ecosystems. Unregulated coastal development and restricted access to beaches have resulted in the degradation of marine habitats, destruction of coral reefs, and loss of biodiversity. By allowing locals to access and take care of their own beaches, we can foster a sense of stewardship and ensure the long-term sustainability of these precious natural resources.

4. Social and cultural significance of public beach access

Public beach access is not just about sunbathing and swimming; it is a fundamental human right that fosters social cohesion and cultural exchange. Beaches are communal spaces where people from all walks of life can come together, interact, and celebrate their shared humanity. By denying locals access to their own beaches, we are perpetuating social divisions and reinforcing the notion that certain spaces are reserved only for the privileged few. Preserving local beach access is therefore essential for promoting inclusivity, diversity, and social harmony in Jamaican society.

5. Ways to support local beach access preservation in Jamaica

Preserving local beach access in Jamaica requires collective action and the involvement of various stakeholders. Here are some ways you can contribute to this crucial cause:

Support local grassroots organizations: Many local communities in Jamaica have formed organizations dedicated to preserving their beach access rights. By donating to or volunteering with these organizations, you can directly support their advocacy efforts and help amplify their voices.

6. Examples of successful beach access preservation initiatives in Jamaica

Despite the challenges, there have been inspiring examples of successful beach access preservation initiatives in Jamaica. The Negril Environmental Protection Trust, for instance, has been instrumental in securing public beach access in Negril, one of the island’s most popular tourist destinations. Through community engagement, legal action, and lobbying efforts, they have managed to reclaim and protect the rights of locals to enjoy their own beaches. These success stories serve as powerful reminders that change is possible and that collective action can make a difference.

7. The role of resorts and wealthy individuals in preserving local beach access

Resorts and wealthy individuals play a significant role in the preservation of local beach access in Jamaica. As major stakeholders in the tourism industry, they have the power and resources to influence policies and practices that impact beach access. It is crucial for these entities to recognize their responsibility and actively contribute to the well-being of the local communities. By supporting initiatives that promote equitable access and sustainable tourism, resorts and wealthy individuals can help preserve the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Jamaica for future generations.

How tourists can contribute to beach access preservation in Jamaica

As a visitor to Jamaica, you have the power to contribute to the preservation of local beach access. Here are a few ways you can make a difference:

  1. Educate yourself: Learn about the issues surrounding beach access in Jamaica and the specific challenges faced by local communities. Understanding the context will enable you to make informed decisions and take meaningful action.
  2. Spread the word: Use your voice and influence to raise awareness about the importance of preserving local beach access. Share your knowledge and experiences with others, both online and offline. Encourage your friends and family to support responsible tourism and choose accommodations that respect local communities’ rights.


Preserving local beach access in Jamaica is not just a matter of convenience; it is a matter of justice, sustainability, and respect for human rights. By recognizing the importance of accessible beaches and actively supporting initiatives that promote equitable access, we can contribute to the well-being of the local communities, protect the environment, and foster a more inclusive and diverse society. So, the next time you plan a visit to Jamaica, remember the crucial role you can play in preserving local beach access. Together, we can ensure that Jamaica’s beaches remain a treasure for all to enjoy.


Jillian Hishaw is a CEO, Attorney and Founder of Hishaw Law LLC and F.A.R.M.S., she has saved millions on farmland assets and has written on the topic for over 20 years. Her prior experience includes working at local, state and federal agencies on conservation and civil rights matters. In 2017, Hishaw was recognized as a Food Changemaker, by the Clif Bar Foundation and featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, The Atlantic, Vice News, Growers Co., (CAN), and among others. In 2019, the Food Tank organization voted Hishaw, 1 of 15 women in the World Impacting the Food Industry.

Hishaw, has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Tuskegee University, plus a Juris Doctorate and Legal Master’s in agricultural law, from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville law school.

Hishaw is the author of “Don’t Bet the Farm on Medicaid,” “US Farm Tax Credits for all 50 States,” “The History of 50 U.S. State Flags & their Historic Symbolism,” and “Systematic Land Theft” winner of the 2022 Independent Press Award, the 2022 National Indie Excellence Book Award, 2022 NYC Big Book Award and Finalist for the 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

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